“My mouth watered at the thought of food – especially when I saw the table, which was covered with plates of ham and tongue and pickles and cheese and Welsh cakes.”
Well, my Id read that sentence too and immediately said “I want Welsh Cakes – now.”
We grew up eating these not very attractive, but very delectable treats.
It seems that when my mother was a head over heels in love newlywed, my father wrote to some relatives in South Wales and asked for the recipe. It was sent and mom promptly went to work whipping up a batch for dad. They were a big success, just like he used to have back in Wales, and so mom continued to make them on a fairly regular basis.
After my dad passed away, we didn’t have them for a long time. Then one Christmas, my mother couldn’t think of what to get me as a gift. She called me up lamenting about it, and my Id butted in and said “Say, mom, why make me a nice batch of Welsh cookies.” (We had Americanized the name by then)
So every Christmas and birthday, for years I received a batch of Welsh cookies as my gift and it was the best. But then, mom also passed away. And I didn’t realized how long it had been since I had a homemade Welsh cookie, except I had some I had bought in Cardiff a few times. But even that was a while ago.
So I told my Id, after we read the above mentioned passage, all is not lost. My ego had the good sense to get the recipe from mom long ago, and, as you can see, it was while she was still in nursing. Turns out, I had two recipes: one she wrote leaving out the raisins, one I wrote and it seems that poor recipe recording runs in the family:
I looked around on the internet for a recipe that is a little more explanatory and came across a blog called The Old Foodie
This recipe is as close to mom’s as I have seen. So with all due respect and credit, I am repeating her recipe here, but do visit her blog as it s is a fabulous source for all kinds of foodie things.
½ lb. self-raising flour
¼ lb. pure lard
¼ lb. sugar
2 oz sultanas or currants or raisins
1 heaped teaspoonful nutmeg
1 heaped teaspoonful salt
Crumble the lard into the flour by hand; add sugar, sultanas, nutmeg, and salt. Mix in the beaten egg – adding a little milk if necessary – till just right to roll out to about a bare quarter of an inch thick. Cut into rounds about 2 ½ inches in diameter - a glass works nicely.
In the meantime the griddle should have been heating, and when you think it is ready, rub it over with larded paper. Try it for temperature with a scrap of dough and regulate the heat so that the dough browns evenly without burning in about seven to ten minutes, then place as many of the Welsh Cakes on it as possible. Turn over when all are evenly brown (about ten minutes) and cook the other side the same.
I hope everyone has a very Happy Mother’s Day.
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Photo of Welsh Cakes from A Slice of Wales: A Collection of Tales to Tickle Your Taste Buds